-1 degree C, or about 31 F. All is calm, all is bright. No it’s not Christmas yet, but a new sun is shining brightly in a crystal clear cloudless sky, not a breath of wind and everything is covered in a thick blanket of new fallen snow, approximately 6 inches according to my antique wooden 12″ ruler which I used when I went out this AM to start the truck.
At 07:00 there was silence, no traffic, no people, no sign of life anywhere, just the beginning of dripping icicles and melting roofs and steam rising in the morning sun where it first touched the rooftops. the forecast calls for +25 by Tuesday. Deep breath.
The Sound of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel, 1964
Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, so called because of the nature and content of the readings regarding the Good Shepherd laying down his life to protect his sheep. And earlier in the week we hear from John 6:32 “My Father gives you the true bread from heaven“. Jesus tries to teach us that we set our sights too low, that we have blinders on. He has so much more in store for us than ordinary bread.
Remi Brague, French Catholic philosopher and winner of the prestigious Ratzinger Prize, in a lecture at the University of St. Thomas, suggested that the “secular” are those whose lives are defined by a horizon of a hundred years. “That is simply what the word ‘secular’ means,” he declared.
In this simple statement we see the difference between a “secular” view of the world as opposed to one whose vantage point is “eternity”. “1940 – Christianity is finished. Communism is the future”. “The march of progress – think of the good we might gain from killing this embryo.” “Witness our current fancy for relativising and destroying human dignity – the disposable asset called Man“. “A never ending frenetic pursuit of a theoretical utopia, or never ending despair, cynicism and nihilism when the latest utopia proves illusory”. The next big thing, the next big catastrophe.
The Times They Are a Changin’, Bob Dylan, 1964
From a genuine historical point of view, current, secular, cultural accomplishments disappear almost over night. We look around and they are gone. Liberal socialism, a decaying leper. Liberal Democracy, reality programming for dummies, who will we vote off the island now. Communism, dead as a door-nail and taking millions with it. Atheism, screaming loudly as it swirls towards the drain.
Social medicine, unsustainable. Fossil fuels, killing the planet. Social Assistance and food stamps, slavery for life. “Public Education”, dumb down, dumb down, dumb down into daycare for post natal infants. Social Credit, gone. Whigs & Tories, unrecognizable. WWII – why? Hitler, gone. Stalin, gone. Pol Pot, gone. Mao, gone. The dirty 30’s, the roaring 20’s, WWI the Great War – what was so great? The sun never sets on the British Empire, Long live the Queen. Hearts of Oak, Rule Britannia.
Hapsburgs, The Third Republic, the second republic, La Republic, Liberte Egalite Fraternite, gone, all gone. The Holy Roman Empire, the original Roman Empire. All gone, pick your 100 years, whatever you thought was the current great is like this morning’s snow, starting out hushed and pristine white and degenerating into a sloppy muddy mess requiring cleanup.
Desolation Row, My Chemical Romance, 2009
So through it all, if you take the long view, the eternal view, what we see is a continuous battle of good against no good, of God against no god. All the rest is sound and fury, lipstick on a pig and without the long view we are trapped in the sound and fury, putting our lipstick on, getting ready for the next dance.
So which side do you choose? God or no god? That is really the only choice. Choose wisely for the sake of eternity.
Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen, 1984